The Top 3 Dog Training Secrets
While there are a lot of nuances to getting that perfect “heel” behavior with your pet dog, or getting a speedy and exciting “sit” around a million dogs, people, and distracting scents, there are only 3 main points you need to get reliable behavior from your pet companion:
Because at its core, whether you’re training a dog to perform basic obedience, a parrot to free fly, or a cat to walk into a kennel, training animals is a learning process for everyone.
Fun, Repetition, & Consistency
The reason I put FUN on the top of the list is because STRESS makes learning slower. When we make dog obedience a game the right cocktail of chemicals is released in our brain to help the memories become sticky. We are faster to recall something fun, and are more likely to do it later. The same goes for our animals!
Repetition comes second because our pet dogs learn by doing. The more they do it, and if they have fun doing it, the faster they learn.
Consistency is the hardest part. Most people get all excited when trying something new, go hog-wild until they can’t go any more, and them stop training. I know because I’ve done it many, many times. Being a veteran of this phenomenon I can tell you the key to beating it too. I’ve instilled many new and consistent habits when I’ve applied a single and simple behavioral principle; attached one new behavior to a current habit. That’s all there is!
Do you always reach for coffee after you wake up? Do your morning shoulder stretch when you reach the coffee maker and reward yourself with a sip. Or write a line in your journal while it’s brewing. Make sure to put the paper and pen next to the pot so that you don’t talk yourself out of it either. Putting something off until later is all too easy to do.
What Doesn’t Work in Dog Training
Dog obedience training is not a 2 week board and train, or dog boot camp, or puppy school. Because while you will see amazing results when your pup comes home guess what goes away when they come back? Consistency and repetition! This is why I am constantly saying that training dogs is easy when you already have the skills. It’s training the people to have fun, apply the right techniques, read and respond to body language, and stay with it day in and day out. If it was easy everyone would have a well trained dog and would not be impressive to have one.
This is why I assign homework, follow up on your personal skills, play games, and customize when, where, why, and how to train your pet companion. If you want to start your journey in animal training contact me with your free consultation in Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton, and in general the whole Lehigh Valley PA.